Thoughts on NBA All-Star 2020 Weekend
Didn't get to see the Skills Challenge, but I believe Bam Adebayo won it. It's interesting that a number of bigs have been winning the skills challenge, considering it seems to be more suited to smaller players that play the guard position. I guess that goes to show how skilled the bigs are nowadays.
Buddy Hield won it and I'm not surprised that he did. That guy can flat out shoot threes and is not afraid to shoot threes anytime during a game. Every time I see the Kings play the Mavericks, Buddy Hield is always shooting threes and making most of them. Devin Booker put up a good fight and like what Reggie Miller said, has a beautiful shooting stroke.
Slam Dunk Contest
It was one of the best dunk contests I've seen ever. It rivals the dunk contest in 2016 between Zach Lavigne and Aaron Gordon. Unfortunately, as spectacular as he was in this year's dunk contest, Aaron Gordon didn't come away a winner. That is even after having scored 50 points on each of his first 5 dunks. Derrick Jones Jr. edged him out on the last dunk, but I feel that, just like back in 2016, two winners should have been crowned this year. Both Aaron Gordon and Derrick Jackson Jr deserved to win. Not one of them deserved to lose. It was the only disappointment to an otherwise very entertaining dunk contest. Other NBA players thought the same, that the contest should have ended in a tie. I mean they did before in 2016, why couldn't they do the same this year?
Dwayne Wade and the other judges tried to walk away because they couldn't pick between the two. Both were scoring 50s on their dunks. However, someone said they needed to pick a winner and so they continued on until someone won.
This was one of the best All-Star games in a long time. The last really good all star game that I can remember, was back when Kobe Bryant was going up against an aging Michael Jordan that ended in a 4th quarter thriller.
I love the new format in this year's All-Star game. Each team picks a charity to support for the game. For every quarter that a team wins, prize money is donated to the charity that they picked. I love that, it adds more incentive for the players to play harder and to win.
The 4th quarter was an un-timed quarter. It was basically like a pickup game where you have to score a certain amount of points to win. That was a great change of pace that produced some really good competitive basketball. We had Giannis putting in a heroic defensive effort, blocking people left and right. We had Chris Paul, a small guard, putting up some of the best perimeter defense I've seen against Giannis. We had James Harden defending the post against Siakam, showing he can really play defense if he really wants to. We had Kyle Lowry trying to take charges against Lebron and Kawhi. (Trying to take charges in an All-Star game is unheard of LOL.) We had players arguing with the refs as if they were playing for a championship game.
It was like watching Game 7 of an NBA Finals game, except that in this game every player on the floor were all stars. It was so much fun to watch. I hope that they stay with this same format for next year's All Star game as I'm very much looking forward to it.
Edit: Oh and by the way, Team Lebron won after coming from behind to snatch the win from Team Giannis.
One slight disappointment for me was that Luka Doncic was not called to play during the final moments of the game. I understand why, as it is his first year as an all star. Even as an all-star, he still has to earn his minutes, especially in a lineup filled with future hall-of-famers. I would have loved to see him play more, but again I understand why he didn't get the chance to. I have no doubt that he'll get his chances in the future. It's just another reason to look forward to next year's all star game.